The Hon. Warren Truss MP
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia a
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
THE Australian Government has embarked on the biggest infrastructure works program in the nation’s history “geared to driving economic growth, achieving greater efficiency and competitiveness and spurring a revival across metropolitan and regional Australia.
Our record $50 billion infrastructure investment has seen work start on 22 major new projects this year and another 47 next year, most of which either languished under Labor or simply were not on their radar.
The Australian Government has re-introduced the traditional 80:20 funding split for new road and rail projects on the national network outside of metropolitan areas. Under Labor these networks would have been abandoned.
In NSW this means our $5.64 billion will see the Pacific Highway finally duplicated by the end of this decade. Australia’s largest regional road project is now in full swing, with three consortia shortlisted to oversee construction of the final 155 kilometre Woolgoolga to Ballina section in 2015.
Our partnership with the NSW Government in Western Sydney ends half-a-century of dithering to lock-in the site for a new Western Sydney airport and we have committed $3.6 billion for the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan to create new local jobs and slash travel times for motorists.
We are investing $1.5 billion in WestConnex, cutting 40 minutes on travel between Parramatta and Kingsford Smith Airport, as well as providing a concessional loan of up to $2 billion to fast-track WestConnex Stage 2 bringing it forward by up to 18 months. WestConnex will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.
Our joint $810 million contribution with the NSW Government to build the $3 billion NorthConnex project will also create thousands of jobs, allow motorists to bypass 21 sets of traffic lights and save up to 15 mins travel time.
In Queensland, our $6.7 billion commitment to fix the Bruce Highway, including 47 new projects to make it safer and less flood-prone, is well underway. This year construction started on raising the Bruce across the Yeppen Floodplain south of Rockhampton, as well as large sections of works between Cooroy and Curra.
Early works have now started on the last stage of the Townsville Ring Road. We have expanded construction to duplicate the road and include grade separated interchanges. The Australian Government will complete this project, which has been allowed to stretch out for a decade.
In every corner of Australia we are building a better, more productive future. In Cape York we have started construction on a $260 million package of works, including projects that will keep roads open for longer during the wet season.
There is $930 million to continue the Gateway Motorway North upgrade in Brisbane and up to $1.285 billion for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, expected to support 1,800 jobs during construction.
In Victoria, we have committed $3 billion to build the East-West Link which will create almost 7,000 jobs during construction and slash travel times between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink to seven minutes and bypass 23 sets of traffic lights. It would be extremely disappointing for Victoria if the new Labor Government tries to cancel the East-West contract which could potentially damage Australia’s reputation as a secure market for international investment.
We are also fixing one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road, which has deteriorated due to the effects of age, heavy rainfall, salt corrosion and increasing tourist traffic. The first stages of our $25 million package of works kicked off in August.
In November we invested $70 million of new funding to the Princes Highway East and a further $97.3 million to the Western Highway to further duplicate these nationally significant highways.
In South Australia, we are delivering almost $1 billion to upgrade the North-South corridor. Planning commenced this year and construction will start in 2015 on both the Darlington and Torrens to Torrens projects.
Our $400 million commitment to Tasmania’s Midland Highway is a key part of our Economic Action Strategy, and there are seven projects, totalling $20 million, that will start construction between now and the end of January 2015.
In Western Australia, our $676 million investment will finish the Gateway WA Project in Perth and we are getting on with delivering NorthLink WA on the Perth to Darwin Highway which we committed $615 million towards.
Construction started this year on the $307.8 million Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin) and the $174 million North West Coastal Highway (Minilya to Barradale), with the $140.6 million Tonkin Highway upgrade now in the planning stages.
We are also delivering more for less through new innovative financing with a heavy vehicle road user charge being introduced in WA for the first time to help build the $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link, which will enable this vital project to go out to tender in 2015.
In the Northern Territory, we have finished construction on the first section of the $103 million Tiger Brennan Drive duplication, with works on the next section between Woolner and Berrimah Roads ready to proceed.
Construction began in November on the first two projects in the $90 million Regional Roads Productivity Package, which upgrades six regional and remote roads in the Territory that are key to continuing export growth from the resource and primary industry sectors.
In addition, we have committed $2.1 billion for local roads under the Roads to Recovery Programme “ including an extra $350 million more to provide double the funding in 2015-16. Another $500 million for Black Spots, crucial to fixing dangerous and accident-prone sections of local roads and streets, and $229 million for a new national highway upgrade program.
Our additional funding of $200 million for Heavy Vehicle Safety has received 150 proposals and our new $300 million Bridges Renewal programme, to repair and replace local bridges, has attracted more than 270 project proposals.
While in government for just over a year, we are delivering on an infrastructure agenda to set Australia on the road to prosperity for generations to come.
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